New York - Restraint and Seclusion: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 

State law requires districts to adopt policies limiting use of restraint and seclusion that include comprehensive student protections, including the provision of mandatory training for school personnel.

New York Codes, Rules and Regulations 19.5 Prohibition of corporal punishment and aversive interventions.

(b) Prohibition of the use of aversive interventions.
(1) No public school, BOCES, charter school, approved preschool program, approved private school, State-operated or State-supported school in this State, approved out-of-state day or residential school, or registered nonpublic nursery, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school in this State shall employ the use of aversive behavioral interventions to reduce or eliminate maladaptive behaviors, except as provided pursuant to section 200.22(e) and (f) of this Title.
(2) As used in this section, aversive intervention means an intervention that is intended to induce pain or discomfort to a student for the purpose of eliminating or reducing maladaptive behaviors, including such interventions as:

  • (i) contingent application of noxious, painful, intrusive stimuli or activities; strangling, shoving, deep muscle squeezes or other similar stimuli;
  • (ii) any form of noxious, painful or intrusive spray, inhalant or tastes;
  • (iii) contingent food programs that include the denial or delay of the provision of meals or intentionally altering staple food or drink in order to make it distasteful;
  • (iv) movement limitation used as a punishment, including but not limited to helmets and mechanical restraint devices; or
  • (v) other stimuli or actions similar to the interventions described in subparagraphs (i) through (iv) of this paragraph.

The term does not include such interventions as voice control, limited to loud, firm commands; time-limited ignoring of a specific behavior; token fines as part of a token economy system; brief physical prompts to interrupt or prevent a specific behavior; interventions medically necessary for the treatment or protection of the student; or other similar interventions.

New York Codes, Rules and Regulations 200.22 Program standards for behavioral interventions.

(3) Except as provided in subdivision (e) of this section, a behavioral intervention plan shall not include the use of aversive interventions.

(4) The behavioral intervention plan shall identify:

  • (i) the baseline measure of the problem behavior, including the frequency, duration, intensity and/or latency of the targeted behaviors. Such baseline shall, to the extent practicable, include data taken across activities, settings, people and times of the day. The baseline data shall be used as a standard to establish performance criteria and against which to evaluate intervention effectiveness;
  • (ii) the intervention strategies to be used to alter antecedent events to prevent the occurrence of the behavior, teach individual alternative and adaptive behaviors to the student, and provide consequences for the targeted inappropriate behavior(s) and alternative acceptable behavior(s); and
  • (iii) a schedule to measure the effectiveness of the interventions, including the frequency, duration and intensity of the targeted behaviors at scheduled intervals.

(5) Progress Monitoring. The implementation of a student's behavioral intervention plan shall include regular progress monitoring of the frequency, duration and intensity of the behavioral interventions at scheduled intervals, as specified in the behavioral intervention plan and on the student's IEP. The results of the progress monitoring shall be documented and reported to the student's parents and to the CSE or CPSE and shall be considered in any determination to revise a student's behavioral intervention plan or IEP.

(c) Use of time out rooms.

A time out room is an area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his or her education program. Time out rooms are to be used in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan in which a student is removed to a supervised area in order to facilitate self-control or to remove a student from a potentially dangerous situation and as provided in paragraph (3) of this subdivision.

(1) Each school which uses a time out room as part of its behavior management approach shall ensure that the school's policy and procedures on the use of the time out room are developed and implemented consistent with this subdivision, including the physical and monitoring requirements, parental rights and IEP requirements for students with disabilities. The school's policy and procedures shall minimally include:

  • (i) prohibiting placing a student in a locked room or space or in a room where the student cannot be continuously observed and supervised;
  • (ii) factors which may precipitate the use of the time out room;
  • (iii) time limitations for the use of the time out room;
  • (iv) staff training on the policies and procedures related to the use of time out room;
  • (v) data collection to monitor the effectiveness of the use of time out rooms; and
  • (vi) information to be provided to parents.

(2) A student's IEP shall specify when a behavioral intervention plan includes the use of a time out room for a student with a disability, including the maximum amount of time a student will need to be in a time out room as a behavioral consequence as determined on an individual basis in consideration of the student's age and individual needs.

(3) Except for unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of a student or others, the use of a time out room shall be used only in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan that is designed to teach and reinforce alternative appropriate behaviors.

(4) The school district shall inform the student's parents prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention plan that will incorporate the use of a time out room for a student and shall give the parent the opportunity to see the physical space that will be used as a time out room and provide the parent with a copy of the school's policy on the use of time out rooms.

(5) The physical space used as a time out room shall provide a means for continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student. The room shall be of adequate width, length and height to allow the student to move about and recline comfortably. Wall and floor coverings should be designed to prevent injury to the student and there shall be adequate lighting and ventilation. The temperature of the room shall be within the normal comfort range and consistent with the rest of the building. The room shall be clean and free of objects and fixtures that could be potentially dangerous to a student and shall meet all local fire and safety codes.

(6) The time out room shall be unlocked and the door must be able to be opened from the inside. The use of locked rooms or spaces for purposes of time out is prohibited.

(7) Staff shall continuously monitor the student in a time out room. The staff must be able to see and hear the student at all times.

(8) The school shall establish and implement procedures to document the use of the time out room, including information to monitor the effectiveness of the use of the time out room to decrease specified behaviors.

(9) For an education program operated pursuant to section 112 of the Education Law and Part 116 of this Title, if a provision of this section relating to use of time out rooms conflicts with the rules of the respective State agency operating such program, the rules of such State agency shall prevail and the conflicting provisions of this section shall not apply.

New York Codes, Rules and Regulations 200.22 Program standards for behavioral interventions.

(d) Emergency Interventions.

(1) For purposes of this subdivision, emergency means a situation in which immediate intervention involving the use of reasonable physical force pursuant to section 19.5(a)(3) of this Title is necessary.

(2)  Use of emergency interventions.

  • (i) Emergency interventions shall be used only in situations in which alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of physical force cannot reasonably be employed.
  • (ii)  Emergency interventions shall not be used as a punishment or as a substitute for systematic behavioral interventions that are designed to change, replace, modify or eliminate a targeted behavior.

(3) Staff training. Staff who may be called upon to implement emergency interventions shall be provided with appropriate training in safe and effective restraint procedures in accordance with section 100.2(l)(1)(i)(g) of this Title and section 200.15(h)(1) of this Part as applicable.

(4) Documentation. The school must maintain documentation on the use of emergency interventions for each student, which shall include the name and date of birth of the student; the setting and the location of the incident; the name of the staff or other persons involved; a description of the incident and the emergency intervention used, including duration; a statement as to whether the student has a current behavioral intervention plan; and details of any injuries sustained by the student or others, including staff as a result of the incident. The parent of the student shall be notified and documentation of emergency interventions shall be reviewed by school supervisory personnel and, as necessary, the school nurse or other medical personnel.

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